Guy’s Hospital is a large NHS hospital in the borough of Southwark in central London. It is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and one of the institutions that comprise the King’s Health Partners, an academic health science centre. It is a large teaching hospital and is, with St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College Hospital, the location of King’s College London School of Medicine (formerly known as the GKT School of Medicine). The Tower Wing (formerly known as Guy’s Tower) is the world’s second tallest hospital building, standing at 148.65 metres (487.7 ft) with 34 floors.
The hospital was founded in 1721 by Thomas Guy, a publisher of unlicensed Bibles who had made a fortune in the South Sea Bubble. It was originally established as a hospital to treat “incurables” discharged from St Thomas’ Hospital. Guy had been a Governor and benefactor of St Thomas’ and his fellow Governors supported his intention by granting the south-side of St Thomas’ Street for a peppercorn rent for 999 years. Guy is interred in the crypt of the Chapel of his foundation.
Guy’s has expanded over the centuries. The original buildings formed a courtyard facing St Thomas Street, comprising the hall on the east side and the Chapel, Matron’s House and Surgeon’s House on the west-side. Two inner quadrangles were divided by a cloister which was later restyled and dedicated to the hospital’s members who fell in World War I. The east side comprised the care wards and the ‘counting house’ with the governors ‘Burfoot Court Room’. The north-side quadrangle is dominated by a statue of Lord Nuffield who was the chairman of governors for many years and also a major benefactor. These original parts of the hospital are now administrative and social accommodation.
In 1974, the hospital added the 34-storey Guy’s Tower and 29-storey Guy’s House. At 148.65 metres (487.7 ft) high, Guy’s Tower (now called the Tower Wing) regained its tallest hospital building in the world status in 2014 and is currently the 21st tallest building in London. It was designed by Watkins Gray.
Over 13,650 staff work in Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital. They are two of the oldest teaching hospitals, and they are situated right in the heart of the capital. One of the services that the trust provides is dental care, looking after over 120,000 patients a year.
The site consists of 19 distinct, but interconnected, buildings with functions including public medical services, teaching, research and student residence. Collectively the buildings are known by local students as ‘the squirrel’ due to the buildings strange silhouette.
The buildings which compose the campus are:
- Tower Wing
- Borough Wing
- Southwark Wing
- Bermondsey Wing
- Tabard Annexe
- Nuffield House
Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge (5 minutes’ walk from the overground/underground stations) is home to the largest dental hospital in Europe. Its services include routine dentistry, dental surgery, oral medicine and specialist dentistry. In addition Guy’s also provides emergency dental services, and oral and facial surgery with the majority of work being performed by students.
Dental work involves dental surgeons, as well as dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental technicians, and medical photographers; all of which are equally important to the efficiency of the hospital’s dental care services.
A latest-technology-equipped Cancer Centre is being built at Guy’s Hospital. Most patients will come to the centre to have their cancer treated. The centre will provide specialist cancer services, training, development and research. Guy’s and St Thomas’s Cancer Centre has as its aim to improve cancer treatments.
On 31 October 2005 children’s departments moved to the Evelina London Children’s Hospital in the grounds next to St Thomas’s close to the Palace of Westminster.
The Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases was built following a generous donation from the Wolfson Foundation. This centre brings together research groups dedicated to improving outcomes of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury.
To lower the cost of energy and reduce carbon emissions Guy’s Hospital utilises a combined heat and power plant that operates on natural gas (methane).